Texas Computer Repair

Texas Computer Repair


New Texas Law Limits Computer Repair To Licensed Private Investigators
Rife v. Texas Private Security Board

IJ client Mike Rife cannot compete with a government-created cartel that demands he close his businesses and complete a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator to get a state-required license to fix computers.

Texas now demands that every computer repair technician in the entire state acquire a private investigator’s license to repair a computer.  To get that license, you are required to have a degree in criminal justice or perform a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator.  If you perform certain repairs without a private investigator’s license, or if you have your computer repaired by someone without a license, you can be punished by a $4,000 fine and one year in jail as well as a $10,000 civil penalty.

Matt Miller, the executive director of the Institute for Justice Texas Chapter, which is located in Austin, said, “Texas is working hard to bring technology innovators to the state.  Laws like this tell computer entrepreneurs that they are not welcome here, and that they must risk jail time in order to continue working in their chosen field.”

Computers can be unreliable and computer repair is a common, everyday transaction.  Yet under the new law, consumers must take their computer to a licensed investigator to have it repaired, or risk one year in jail for using an unlicensed company.  The law leaves consumers with fewer choices and higher prices for computer repair.


Essential Background


Backgrounder: Texas Government-mandated Computer Repair License Does Not Compute

Client Photo

Client Video - none available

Latest Release: Texas Private Security Board Again Refuses To Exempt Computer Repair from Licensing Law (October 31, 2008)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

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Launch Release: New Texas Law Limits Computer Repair To Licensed Private Investigators
(June 26, 2008)


Case Timeline

 Filed Lawsuit: 


June 26, 2008 

  Court Filed:

Travis County District Court



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Next Key Date:


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Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: American Bar Association Condemns Texas’ Private Investigator Licenses For Computer Forensics ABA Calls Texas Law “Particularly Aggressive” (August 26, 2008)

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Op-eds, News Articles and Links

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